NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 8 – Striking doctors on Wednesday held a meeting to strategise on the way forward following an ultimatum by the government for them to either immediately return to work or face the sack.
The meeting chaired by the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Ouma Oluga sought to review the options doctors have following the pronouncements by President Uhuru Kenyatta that his government will not succumb to pressure to meet their demands.
President Kenyatta said doctors were blackmailing the government and can as well make a decision on whether to continue serving or quit.
Speaking while opening the 4th Annual Devolution Conference in Nakuru, President Kenyatta stated that the resolution of the dispute cannot come at the expense of fairness to other Kenyans.
The Head of State emphasised that the government shall not succumb to coercion.
He stressed that should the ongoing talks being mediated by religious leaders fail, action shall be taken against the doctors.
The ongoing negotiations on the doctors strike were further thrown into confusion after the National and County Governments further withdrew their offer to backdate their proffered risk allowance from July 2016.
The Court of Appeal had given the inter-religious group more time to finalise the negotiations and report back on Monday, even as the government made it clear that their demands will not be met.
Doctors have been on strike since December last year, demanding a 300 per cent increase of their salaries and allowances in what economists say, is totally unsustainable due to the country’s economic status and may touch off a storm from other public servants.